Students race along 520km of GODZone

14 March 2014
From left-to-right; Thomas Reynolds, Toni Keeling, Matt Jeans, and Edward Lawley.

Students from The University of Auckland have covered some 520km and ascended to a total height of almost 12km, all in the name of sport.

Tom Reynolds (who is currently studying towards a Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Medicine), Toni Keeling (Bachelor of Engineering – honours and Bachelor of Science Conjoint), Ed Lawley (Bachelor of Engineering – honours), and alumnus Matt Jeans (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery 2013) competed as Team University of Auckland at the third edition of the GODZone Adventure race – an annual multi-day, expedition race in the South Island that attracts both local and international competitors.

This year’s competition in Kaikoura asked teams to navigate, trek, mountain bike, kayak, canoe and coaster their way along the Hurunui River, and through the Glen Wye and Kaikoura Ranges. To add to the challenge, the exact details of the course aren’t released until a few hours before the race.

“The 24 hours prior to the race seemed to drag,” says 24yr-old Tom. “The night before the race we sat down over some dinner and discussed our expectations and plan for the race. We were all keen on completing the full course, with a top 20 placing.”

Team University of Auckland finished the race in 14th place, managing to keep the Kiwi dominance in the competition, with the first international team placing 15th.

The team finished with a credible time of 5 days, 14 hours and 35 minutes. Despite a few delays at transition points, and fatigue effecting some decisions on the course, the challenge of the competition hasn’t seemed to deter them at all.

“I’m keen for more. Expedition racing has something no other race format I have tried has. It certainly redefined my limits, especially mentally.

“We wouldn’t have made the start line were it not for our supporters – our naming partner, the University of Auckland, made sure we could be there. With an expedition race under the belt, exam study will seem like a breeze from now on.”

Read Tom’s full blog about the race: Godzone – Team University of Auckland Racing

Get information on the course the team raced: Godzone Live - Route